Combining CFD and water model tests for the design of a pool HLM reactor: lessons learned

Research output: Contribution to report/book/conference proceedingsIn-proceedings paperpeer-review


Institutes & Expert groups

  • VKI - The Von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics

Documents & links


The MYRRHABELLE facility is a thermal-hydraulic 1/5-scale model of the MYRRHA reactor, with an electrical core simulator and water as primary coolant. It is used to validate CFD simulations of a pool-type reactor and provides insights into the thermal-hydraulic behaviour of this innovative reactor design. The facility is flexible and easy to operate and extensive tests have therefore been performed in different conditions testing also accidental scenarios. The water model is mainly built in Plexiglass, allowing flow visualization and the use of advanced optical techniques for measurements of the flow and temperature field. In parallel to measurements, CFD simulations are performed with OpenFOAM to get detailed thermal-hydraulic data in the different regions of the water model. Assumptions are made in the numerical model concerning the importance of different physical phenomena. Conjugate heat transfer plays an important role in a pool-type reactor and is one of the lessons learned with these simulations. The CFD approach is validated by experimental measurements, with recommendations for the simulation of a complete pool-type reactor. The importance of buoyancy force when simulating low mass flow (high Richardson number) is emphasized. Recommendations for the design of the mesh are provided with respect to the size and complexity of the pool-type reactor.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe 19th International Topical Meeting on Nuclear Reactor Thermal Hydraulics (NURETH-19)
PublisherSCK CEN
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9789076971261
Publication statusPublished - 6 Mar 2022
Event2022 - NURETH - 19th International Topical Meeting on Nuclear Reactor Thermal Hydraulics - Brussels, Belgium
Duration: 6 Mar 202211 Mar 2022
Conference number: NURETH19


Conference2022 - NURETH - 19th International Topical Meeting on Nuclear Reactor Thermal Hydraulics
Internet address


  • Thermal-hydraulics, Validation, Water model, Lessons learned, MYRRHA

ID: 7536351